“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
-Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson
Branding is Leadership, Directed toward a Purpose
Conssistency; it’s what great brands do. They make promises based on who they are and what they can back up. This is called “integrity.” But branding is strategic. In other words, it’s leadership, directed toward a purpose.
Leadership requires planning and process, not just good intentions. This is where many brands fail: putting promises before integrity. But where’s the balance? When do you start talking about your point of view, so you’re making your customers want you and see you as the only option because of how well-developed your point of view is?
So how do you brand a pursuit (company, org, whatever), putting up some substance, and then creating the look and feel that represents the actual promise? I’m about to show you one way a brand is doing that, with more specifics than I’ve ever heard on the topic.
Turn Your Business into a Book
Write the book.
Writing a book sounds like a big undertaking. But if you have a process that’s doable and reliable, it’s not so bad. You just have to be able to do a little strategy on the process.
I have one client that’s taking this seriously. They’re a new company who wants to be known in an industry for a particular leadership point of view. So they’re writing a book.
But isn’t that overkill? It might seem so, but not if you have a process. Because when you’re organized, everything is less work, not more.
How Most Companies Create Content
Most people start with an opportunistic, top-down method. Whatever they’re inspired by, that’s what they write about. Unfortunately, this isn’t sustainable, since the method only works until you see another shiny object. Nonetheless, here’s how it works when you sustain the process:
- Normally, you start with a blog, because it’s easiest. You obsess over keywords and hire SEO people and try to rank to catch up with the people in your industry, doing all the best practices.
- Then you see if you can find ways to monetize the blog, selling things that might make sense to the audience through your blog or site.
- Then you do a mailing list with promotions.
- Then, to give it a personal feel, you might do a podcast or video.
- Then you might even think about doing some training that you’ll eventually get paid for.
Doing it Strategically
As much as I love iterative approaches, there’s bottom-up “iterative,” (what we just talked about) and then there’s “top-down” iterative. We’re gonna do top-down and consider the big picture. Here’s what that looks like.
Write the Book
- Define the problem. Do you want a process that will make you an authority on a topic? Understand the problem better than anyone else. Take a point of view. Then write a book. Here’s what I mean.
- Which becomes a deep, interesting, helpful solution.
- Which becomes a list of steps
- Which becomes a table of contents.
- Which becomes a publishing schedule (for blog, podcast, whatever).
- Which becomes a podcast with show notes
- Which becomes a blog post.
- Which becomes a book topic
- Which become chapters
- Which become sections
- Which become your Book.
Lead Through Distractions with a Process
Properly understood, branding is leadership, directed toward a problem. And when you’re trying to focus your leadership on a problem amidst a world full of distractions and opportunities that will weaken your direction, you need a plan. And that plan must be doable, not just ideal. This process makes the right kind of branding possible for anyone. It just needs your focus.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, and you want to learn more about standing up a brand in your own organization using the brand hacking method, which is keeping it simple and iterating quickly, then let’s talk.
Bio: I’m Chris Stadler, and I’ve been watching, working, studying and consulting for brands since 2004. I will show you how to right-size your promises so that they’re promises you can keep. Because it’s not the expensive branding agencies that make great brands; they’re just the decorators. It’s your leadership and integrity that make it all work. But it takes process.